Instant Pot Spicy Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

How to make the classic dish in a fraction of the time
40 Ratings
100% would make again
How to Make Meatballs in an Instant Pot
Photo: Brendan McHale

Your kitchen is more likely to house an Instant Pot than it is an Italian grandmother, so we've adapted the slow-simmering classic to fit a busy weeknight schedule. The Trader Joe's bill clocked in at $20 (thanks to miraculous $4 ground beef), meaning not only is this recipe simple and flavorful, but it's also affordable.

Head this way for more Instant Pot inspiration.

Spicy Meatballs and Tomato Sauce

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced, divided

8 garlic cloves, minced, divided

½ teaspoon red chile flakes

1¼ pounds ground beef

1 egg

¼ cup Parmesan, grated

¼ cup bread crumbs

¼ cup parsley stems, finely minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

Fresh basil, for garnish

Parmesan cheese, for garnish


1. In a medium-size pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, half the onions, half the garlic and chile flakes. Sauté until lightly caramelized. Once cool, transfer the mixture to a medium-size mixing bowl and add the meat. Add the egg, Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley stems and thyme; mix thoroughly with your hands. Season with salt and pepper. Roll the meat into 2-inch balls and reserve.

2. Set an Instant Pot to sauté and preheat. Once hot, add the remaining onions and garlic. Sauté until translucent, then add the tomatoes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes for an additional 5 minutes, then add the meatballs. Be sure not to place the meatballs too close to each other as they can stick.

3. Seal the lid and pressure-cook on low for 10 minutes. Make sure the steam release handle is closed. Once finished, release the steam handle and remove the lid. Cook on sauté for an additional 5 to 8 minutes to reduce the tomato sauce. Garnish with basil and more Parmesan, then serve over linguine.

Help Other Cooks By Rating and Leaving a Comment Below
Rate this recipe:
Would you make this recipe again?


Around the Web

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere
X Share on FB →